A British journalist living in the US has emotionally implored Minister Pete Buttigieg to impose travel restrictions between the US and the UK after being unable to attend his father’s funeral in person.
Bloomberg anchor Jonathan Farrow asked the transportation secretary why he couldn’t go home.
“We are trying to determine when we will receive an update from his administration,” he said, before describing how difficult it would be to find out.
Minister Buttigieg replied: “So, unfortunately, you cannot rely on an arbitrary date. It must be on the basis of conditions.”
“We have held working groups with our international partners, one for the UK, one for the European Union, one for Canada, and one for Mexico, to determine the right way forward,” he continued. “A lot of that depends on what happens as vaccines advance.”
“Obviously we see good news and bad news in terms of variables: at one point you read about a variable that’s happening around the world; the next thing you know is that it’s quickly becoming the dominant alternative in the United States.”
Unhappy with Minister Buttigieg’s response, Farrow reveals his family’s latest tragedy.
“Forgive me for saying this, but you shouldn’t have watched your father’s funeral on your iPhone on Tuesday, you did,” the presenter told the cabinet member. “I wish science would come out.”
“I’ve talked to scientists about this, and this policy has no scientific basis.”
Minister Buttigieg told Farrow that the situation is complicated and that the United States is trying to be “conservative” because of the devastation the virus has wrought in the country.
He said, “I am among those who long to see their loved ones who live on the other side of the Atlantic. The United States will be reticent in dealing with a phenomenon that has caused the deaths of 600,000 Americans.”
This answer did not satisfy Farrow, who then repeated the sentence about not having “a scientific justification for it. You cannot support it with science, sir.”
The interview concluded with Buttigieg ruling out the federal government to launch a vaccine passport scheme due to privacy concerns.
Currently, people with certain visas, citizenship or green card, along with a negative test result COVID-19 They can enter the United States, however, those with an H1B visa, such as Farro, must enter the country after two weeks of quarantine in another country not on the list of US exemptions.